Inter Defender Milan Skriniar: “We Never Expected 11-Point Lead, Antonio Conte Keeping Us Focused”

Inter Defender Milan Skriniar: “We Never Expected 11-Point Lead, Antonio Conte Keeping Us Focused”
April 15, 2021 17:00
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Milan Skriniar admits Inter are surprised to be so far clear at the top of Serie A.

The Nerazzurri have an 11-point lead over second-placed AC Milan with eight games left, ahead of Sunday’s big match away to Napoli.

Skriniar has been at his brilliant best since recovering from COVID-19 in November and insisted Inter could not afford to look too far ahead.

“We’d certainly never have expected to have this kind of lead with eight games left,” the defender told Sky Sport Italia today.

“We’re working hard to always raise the bar ever higher, though.

“We’re training with a real sense of joy and a great attitude, we know we can get better every day.”

Antonio Conte has been the architect behind Inter’s success this season and Skriniar was asked if his head coach had given the team any particular advice for their title run-in.

“He tells us every day that we need to work and complete each training session without thinking about how many games are left,” the former Sampdoria centre-back explained.

“We just need to focus on every training session and our next opponent, without getting carried away with calculations.”

Inter’s defensive record has played a key role in helping the Nerazzurri pull clear of their rivals, with nine clean sheets in their last 13 league games.

Skriniar was at pains to highlight the work of his teammates further up the pitch, without whom he insists such a run would not have been possible.

“It’s not just us three at the back who defend, it’s a whole team effort,” he insisted, referencing his rock-solid partnership at the back with Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni.

“You’ve seen that in the last few games we’ve defended deeper and more compact, and our opponents have hardly ever taken shots on goal.

“That’s thanks to our midfielders and forwards: our defensive structure starts with the strikers and our attacking moves start from the goalkeeper.

“The important thing is to know we have great players up front who can keep the ball and score goals on the break, or from inside or outside the area.

“I have to praise our forwards for the defensive work they’re doing.”

Asked if Inter could start pronouncing the word ‘Scudetto’, the Slovak added: “Like I said, let’s think about one game at a time.

“The sooner the Scudetto arrives, the better.”

By Will Beckman

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